Ever heard of shadowing?
I got exposed to shadowing for the first time a few years ago, when my Japanese teacher tried it on me. Developed by American Alexander Arguelles, the concept is simple: the language student listens to a stream of speech, and repeats what is said. But you don’t wait until a block of speech is done; you have a lag time that’s as short as you can make it.
So, listening and speaking occur simultaneously; the student “shadows” what they listen to. It is challenging, especially when you just start learning a language. But it’s a good learning exercise. You pick up intonation, pronunciation, grammar, and even get a taste of natural speed. It’s great.
A few weeks ago, during an interpreting session in which I was completely lost and needed my team member to feed me signs, I realised: Shadowing would be an important part of developing JSL skills, too. In fact, a sign language interpreter in a team setting should be able to shadow effectively, or it will be a problem to repeat what a team member feeds you.
So, I decided to do this. I think… once or twice a week should be a good starting point. I’m going to find a JSL (or ASL) video by a native signer and shadow it. And I won’t ignore Hebrew or Japanese!!!!
I bought this little treasure at a supermarket:
I decided I should try to take some moments out of my week and just write in my new 日記 (nikki, journal) to practice writing. I imagine I’ll be writing mostly in Japanese and Jamaican Creole, but I’ll try to include some Hebrew, too, even though my Hebrew skills are…. (Or perhaps especially since my Hebrew skills are…)
So, I suspect I’ll be raiding YouTube for JSL/ASL videos, and 昔話のジャンル別 for Japanese audio to shadow. Stay away from my journal, or I’ll make you suffer. (Fair warning’s due, right?)
Until next time, precious readers.